India asks 'who' and 'why' a day after blasts rock Mumbai
The attacks on Mumbai come ahead of India-Pakistan talks. Some Indian officials believe the deadly blasts were intended to derail the talks.
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“The population of the city makes it an easy target for the terrorists. The idea behind these kinds of terrorism is to spread fear. As such, the target of the terrorists is the average citizen, which is not difficult in Mumbai,” opined former state home secretary Chandra Iyengar.Skip to next paragraph
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The Times of India quoted other officials voicing the same opinion in a piece titled "Hot hunting ground for terrorists":
Former state chief secretary D M Sukhtankar said Mumbai's being the financial nerve-centre makes it vulnerable to repeated attacks. "The high population density, and its intense business and economic activity, make it an easy target for those who want to create worldwide panic," he said. "Terrorists want to demonstrate that despite efforts to prevent such incidents they can still strike at will. Mumbai offers anonymity. It is difficult to identify someone next to you," he added. Former union home secretary Ram Pradhan, who headed the 26/11 probe committee, said Mumbai has always been a target because it is here that the maximum damage can be done. "It's a big city and such blasts hit the morale of the people," he said.
In light of Mumbai's propensity to be a terror target, the Indian government is fending off accusations that yesterday's attacks were an intelligence failure, the Guardian reports. Indian newspapers "carried long lists of terror strikes in Mumbai and other cities during the last decade, including several that remain unresolved."
“Whoever planned this attack worked in a very, very clandestine manner,” Chidambaram told reporters in a Thursday morning televised press conference, according to The Wall Street Journal. “It’s not a failure of intelligence. … There are inherent difficulties in trying to police every inch” of crowded market areas,” he said.
Others in government pointed to the fact that it's been three years since the last Mumbai attack as a sign of intelligence agencies' success.
"It is very difficult to stop every single terror attack," said Congress party leader Rahul Gandhi. "We've improved in leaps and bounds, but terrorism is something that is also increasing in leaps and bounds."